Friday, April 22, 2011

Summer's Past...remember?

It actually hit 87 degrees here today.  Sweat (actual beads of perspiration) appeared on my forehead.  I haven't felt those since...I think October of last year.  That's not counting, of course, when the thermostat in the house gets set to 78.  As we walked down the street, the warm afternoon sent my mind back more than a few years.  Back to when we were growing up in a small Pennsylvania town.  Yeah, you guessed it - five miles to school each way, uphill both ways, no public transportation.  Alright, I'm making that up for the kids' benefit.  It was a small town and when we return now I find it difficult to imagine what we did to occupy our time.  And that's what got me thinking....

I really want to understand why we didn't listen and appreciate the words of our parents and grandparents - "Enjoy these times while you can, they won't last forever."  They didn't.  That doesn't mean we didn't appreciate those times, it's just that it took another 30 years for the appreciation to make its appearance.  It doesn't mean we didn't appreciate our friends - many of them are still in our lives today and, as we've grown older, others have gone from being classmates to real friends.  That's the appreciation part...and knowing that, sadly, none of us will get out of here alive.  That's why, when the weather turns warm, my thoughts go back to earlier days...say, high school.  I think of my first car - a 1967 Austin-Healy Sprite.  Sister car of the MG Midget.  For everyone wanting to take that comment and run with it, have at it.  I will certainly understand.  Thing is, this car was a great ragtop with a roll-bar in the back and had no backseat.  It had an area big enough to stash an overnight bag or two....or, well, a midget.  I remember being careless and allowing two friends to 'hunker down' in the back until we were sure there were no cops around...and then...well, they pulled themselves up and sat on the trunk lid while holding on that bar as we made our way through town and back again.  If I had taken off quickly and their grip hadn't been tight, we would have poured them off onto the road behind us.  Trouble is, that car wouldn't take off quickly.  Trust me, they were safe...and eventually we forgot to look for cops,  Needless to say, they didn't forget to look for 'Idiot Teenagers'.

Seriously, close your eyes and remember with me....wait, don't.  Keep reading and try it later.  Do any of you remember how we'd steal the liquor we could find from our parent's stash?  How we'd drink more than we should (some of us) and end up looking really, really bad at Scotto's Pizza?  it was a little pizza joint in the mall that had the BEST pizza...when you were drinking.  Same as most small town pizza joints - when you went in the light of day, it was pretty much cardboard with sauce and cheese.  I say that, but their's was pretty good when we weren't drinking.  Bad, bad kids.  The other place you will all remember?  Crabb's Tropical Treat.  Oh, yeah, serious Friday night action.  For those of you that weren't from this area, you had to have a drive-in.  This was that place for us.  The place where you order from your car over the original little speakers.....and they brought your food and hung the tray on your windows?  Remember?  The great news?  The place is STILL THERE!!!  It's one of the places I have to visit (yearly pilgrimage) when I am in town every summer.  Yes, they used to have the smokin' cars, smokin' women (you're welcome, ladies), and great food.  The food was, most likely, better because we were.....hungry.  That's it, hungry.  Remember, too, that the trays hanging on your windows were originally meant for cars that (dare I say it?) had manual window-roller-downer-thingys.  I guess 'hand crank' would be an appropriate term.  You had to "Roll the window down."  Yes, we were amazing with the English language, too, but I digress.  You could always tell, when watching folks in other cars (sometimes your own), what their state of intoxication might have been.  We loved to watch people roll the window down to remove the tray from the window, only to have it hit the ground as the window disappeared from sight.  Beautiful move.....and yes, we'd like you to share, thank you very much!

I remember the water reservoir off Impounding Dam Rd.  It was our 'Lookout Point'.  A great place to go 'parking' I heard.  If you went on a warm summer night when it was nice and dark, there'd be hundreds...nay, thousands of fireflies illuminating the lake and surrounding trees.  It was a great conversation starter and reason to take a walk by the lake.  DISCLAIMER: If any young men are reading this, the ladies kind of got wise to this.  Pick a new spot, you little urchins. 

So, for anyone from the area, I hope you'll remember and agree that these were spots that have become ingrained in our collective memories.  If you aren't from the area, I hope you've got spots like this (I know you do) that you can remember fondly, too.  Tonight, when it gets warm (Or if you're in the North WHEN it gets warm), take a cup of coffee, glass of tea, or your favorite adult beverage and make some time for the memories.  Just sit outside when it's dark and let your mind wander back to those years, not so long ago, when we didn't have to worry about the mortgage, or the electric bill, or college tuition.  Make the time...and, if you can, share the stories with the kids.  Encourage them to 'enjoy these times' and to 'stop wishing your life away'.  If only we had heeded that advice when we were younger.  They may not, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try, right?  Have a great night and a great Easter holiday...and thanks for stopping by......

Until next time..........


  1. Thanks,Dave. This is very welcomed nostalgia tonight. I enjoyed it. Makes me feel 17 again, and God only knows what that will cause! Wen

  2. You are sooo right - memories I would NEVER trade. I remember that "cool" car the "Dave Luckenbaugh" had - he was a cool upper classman that hung out with Scott Eisenberger......seriously, you 2 were "heroes" to us!!!!
    The Treat is still a great place. Young gals still there, hot rods some nights. Scotto's Pizza STILL has THE best pizza.
    It is sad, that what we had, kids won't today.NO - they won't.
    And I did walk a VERY long distance to Jr High. NO cars and no parents to drive you - are you nuts!
    Hanover - I say is the big small town. It's changed - people, size, attitudes. But just do 1 thing you shouldn't and you KNOW by days end, those that shouldn't care or know - will!!!!
    I still love it here - go to Market any Sat morning and say hello to former teachers & classmates parents, who till the day they pass, I still address as "MR or MRS" - don't think they have a first name. And who am I to call them by it. It's an odd thing, called respect, that sadly MANY,yes MANY, kids don't have.
    Ok- I am off my soapbox. Have shown I am almost at that age ......Gotta be at Market at 6am!!! Won't be the same without Mr. Padjen there to give me a kiss and say "well, hello sweetheart"...... Night!